U.S. forest products module : a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment
The U.S. Forest Products Module (USFPM) is a partial market equilibrium model of the U.S. forest sector that operates within the Global Forest Products Model (GFPM) to provide long-range timber market projections in relation to global economic scenarios. USFPM was designed specifically for the 2010 RPA forest assessment, but it is being used also in other applications. Within the GFPM framework of global forest product markets and trade, USFPM models aggregate U.S. forest product demands and regional forest product production, timber harvest, and timber stumpage markets in three U.S. subregions: North, South, and West. In each subregion, USFPM models timber stumpage markets for four categories of timber, including hardwood and softwood sawtimber and hardwood and softwood non-sawtimber. USFPM models regional timber harvest and transport activities as the conversion of timber stumpage supplies into delivered timber product outputs (sawlogs/veneer logs, pulpwood/composite timber, other industrial roundwood, and fuelwood) plus logging residues. USFPM also adds more complete product detail in U.S. regions, by differentiating hardwood lumber and softwood lumber, OSB structural panels and industrial particleboard, and hardwood and softwood plywood. In addition, USFPM models potential future supplies of agricultural short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) for energy and fiber, along with wood residue byproducts of sawmills and plywood mills, and the utilization of those materials in production of pulp, wood panels, and energy. USFPM thus models all forms of wood biomass feedstock that could be used potentially for future energy production in the United States, including fuelwood harvest, other roundwood, mill residues, agricultural SRWC, and logging residues. This report describes the structure of USFPM in detail and presents some examples of results and conclusions about future trends in wood energy demands and U.S. timber markets based on USFPM and GFPM projections. A key finding is that projected future trends in U.S. consumption, production, and net trade in forest products are heavily influenced by assumptions about future expansion in U.S. and global wood energy demands. The projected effects of expansion in U.S. and global wood energy consumption are to dampen growth in forest product consumption (because of price impacts on demands) but also to provide greater comparative advantages and enhanced net exports for U.S. producers of forest products (because of price impacts on foreign producers). Prodigious expansion in wood energy demands could cause significant escalation in real U.S. timber prices, but on the other hand, real U.S. timber stumpage prices are not projected to increase without fairly substantial increases in wood energy consumption.